Tag Archives: delicious food

Souperstar: Joanne Gray

Joanne has been involved with Brighton Soup since December 2016 (almost two years!) and regularly cooks up a delicious soup for our events. Ahead of our next Soup at  Community Base on the 30th November (tickets here!), we caught up with Joe to find out all about her cooking…

What are your favourite things to cook? 

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I love love love Indian food, so I tend to cook a lot of different Indian curries and street food – my husband recently bought me the most amazing cookbook called Fresh India by Meera Sodha. Its all vegetarian recipes that are super easy to make and all of them so far are delicious.  I basically like cooking food that I really enjoy eating, so that does usually involve recipes with a bit of a kick as I am a bit of a spice and chilli fan!  My most memorable and favourite soup for a Brighton Soup event was Joe’s Split Chickpea, Spinach & Masala Soup – as you’d expect, it was nice and spicy and seemed to go down well amongst those who tried it!

How did you first get interested in cooking? 

I’ve been cooking since I was young. My parents always encouraged my sisters and I to help make dinners, and my passion for food and cooking has continued throughout my life.  I actually remember ‘outsourcing’ my mincemeat pie making skills at Christmas when I was about 10…a friend of my mums didn’t have the time to make them herself so I baked them for her and she paid me nicely (probably only about £2 but it felt a lot back then!)

What has been your most complicated/ interesting cooking to date? 

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In terms of interesting dishes, I’d say making our own halloumi cheese from scratch and then cooking with it has to be up there.  Homemade halloumi is delicious, really light and airy and full of flavour – 100 x better than the shop bought stuff!  We made all sorts of recipes with it, including coating in breadcrumbs and having it with portobello mushrooms and spinach in a toasted brioche bun, with some sriracha mayo for a bit of a kick!  My ethos with cooking is that it doesn’t need to be overly complicated, using good fresh ingredients and trying out new recipes with them is what its all about for me!

How did you first get involved with Brighton Soup?

My sister lives in Folkestone and had been involved with Folkestone Soup, so when I happened to see an advert one day for Brighton Soup I decided to go along and find out what it was all about.  I absolutely loved the event, I think it is wonderful on so many levels, from encouraging the community to get together, to find out about the issues and opportunities in our community to of course helping so good causes with some financial support to help their sustainability.  So I decided to become a regular Soup go-er!  I think it was on my 2nd Soup event that I got chatting to one of the organisers and somehow managed to sign myself up to making soup!!  The rest is history, I now go regularly to Brighton Soup with my husband, daughter and parents – who all love it!  My Dad has now also become a regular bread maker!

Where are you from? Are there any delicacies/ regional dishes we should try?
I am originally from Scotland but grew up in the South of England. My Scottish roots still influence my soup making. My Gran made the best soup ever with barley, lentils and split peas being her favourite basis for her different soups – so I often adapt versions of my Gran’s old recipes.  My Gran also used to make a meal called ‘Beef Olives’ which is thinly cut steak filled with either sausages or haggis and slow cooked in a onion gravy. Its comfort food at it’s absolute best, served with mash and greens! My daughter loves it too, so it’s one that we’ll make on a winter’s Sunday!

Sounds delicious!

Joe runs her own business consultancy called The Progress Lab  which specialises in organisational change, people development, sales and marketing. She is also a Pilates instructor and regularly hosts Women’s Well-Being events in Hove with a Nutritionist friend. She also runs a Lifelines Pilates class for those who are 50+ in Portslade.

If you fancy tasting one of Joe’s delicious soup recipes, don’t forget to book your tickets for the next soup!

Team Soup

 

 

 

Souperstar: Martin Pritchard of Chu Chu Burmese Kitchen

Just before our last Soup Event (@ St George’s Hangleton) we caught up with one of our talented chefs, Martin Pritchard, who once again provided deliciou soup from from his Chu Chu Burmese Kitchen.

Martin & Tara Pritchard first joined us as volunteers in early 2017. They came to help set up at our May event, and we were all blown away by their boundless energy! Since then, they’ve volunteered at other events, and Martin has become one of our favourite soup chefs. Today, we’ve met him at ‘The Food Rocks’ market in Horsham, where he has a pitch every Thursday and Saturday selling delicious Burmese food.

Martin, how did you and Tara meet?

I was on my travels in Hawaii, queuing at a youth hostel. Tara was in the queue too! We got talking, and then met again on a flight to the Cook Islands. It went from there! We travelled together in New Zealand, and then lived together in Sydney, Australia for 9 months. When we returned to the UK, we moved in together and eventually married in 2009. We lived for a while in Chessington (near the theme park) but both loved the sea and came to Brighton whenever we could. We eventually moved here, but with our jobs don’t get to the beach as often as we’d like!

How did you get interested in cooking?

I grew up in Cheltenham, where I learnt to be a meat-and-veg man with a particular passion for peas soaked in vinegar! Later on, I studied Tourism and Management at Brighton Uni, living mainly on burgers and potatoes in all their guises. Tara, on the other hand, had grown up all over the world, eating spicy food in countries like Malaysia when she was just a kid. I guess I had a sort of ultimatum: “If you want this relationship to move forward, you need to expand your eating habits!”

So what happened?

We had an Italian housemate called Gino when we lived in Sydney, and he showed me some simple Italian dishes that inspired me. I found a love of cooking and have been making up for lost time ever since. Having been employed as a Payroll Manager for 17 years, I realised it was not what I had set out to do and it was driving me crazy. I hated being office bound and needed to do something different so I set up my own food business. Tara’s father is Anglo Burmese, and we decided that as Burmese food isn’t really known in the UK we would like to try and change that. Tara still has a job that takes her all over the world, but we’d both like to be able to dedicate ourselves to this line of work.

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The food is delicious! I just had a Dhal, which is quite like Indian or Nepali but also a bit different! And tea leaf salad?

Burmese Cuisine could be characterised by its use of fish (fish sauce and ngapi, which is shrimp paste) and drip shrimp, but it also takes influences from the countries it borders: Bangladesh, India, China, Thailand and Laos.

Many of the dishes we serve are traditional family recipes, the Oh No Khao Swe  (Chicken, Coconut & Egg Curry) is one of Tara’s Grandad’s recipes and one of the favourite things to eat in her family. “Chu Chu”, the name of the business, comes from the family name for the crispy egg noodles that are liberally sprinkled on the Oh No Khao Swe.

Laphet, or Tea Leaf Salad, is a ubiquitous Burmese dish. It is said that the Burmese are the only nationality to eat tea as well as drink it. The young tea leaves are picked and buried in sacks underground to ferment for anything between 6 months and 2 years. The tea leaves are then served over a salad of shredded veg (cabbage and lettuce), and served with numerous toppings such as crispy onion, crispy garlic, shrimp powder, mixed nuts and beans for the crunch that the Burmese love so much, along with the dressing of fish sauce, garlic oil and lime juice.

How did you get involved with Brighton Soup?

To be honest, Tara signed up for it initially. She was interested in what Brighton Soup do, and wanted to help out and try to make a difference to the community we live in, and I tagged along. I like what it stands for. There is a really nice environment at the events, and its great to be able to contribute to charities by doing what I do!

Martin can be found every Thursday and Saturday at the Food Rocks Market, Carfax, Horsham. If you love food, and particularly spicy food, then try this place out! Its just a bit different!

Chu Chu Burmese Kitchen

Team Soup